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Tip #9: Everything Else...

Compared with the hard drive, everything else on a Macintosh either works or it doesn't. There really aren't any in-between states to worry about. When they break, no amount of tweaking with software is going to help, and unless you're a pro with a screwdriver and have access to the spare parts, DIY repairs probably aren't in the cards. There are a few things you can do on your own to keep the hardware working properly.

First, make sure the working environment around your Mac is suitable. In particular, books and papers leaning against a computer can block the air vents, resulting in overheating. This stresses the components and increases the chances of failure. Hardware placed on the floor (as is often done with computer towers) keeps them safe from desktop clutter, but fluff and dust can easily clog up the air vents, so check these periodically and clean them out as needed.

Keyboards are dirt magnets because we're in contact with them most often. They're also in the line of fire for crumbs and other inadvertently dropped items. Turning the keyboard upside down and applying compressed air will help clean a keyboard out before detritus can jam the mechanisms under the keys. Notebooks are especially vulnerable to dirt and grease on the keyboards: when closed up as this combination can scratch and stain the delicate plastic coating on the LCD.

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